Latest News
3/14/07 to 3/24/07


LA - Cockfighting clubs are feeling the heat in Louisiana as lawmakers work on signing the sport's death warrant... After his family's dairy farm went bust, Kinchen and his wife, Barbara, opened the Milk Dairy Game Club to hold regular cockfights on the rural spread where Kinchen, 64, was born and raised. Today the Milk Dairy club is closed, shuttered since 50 police officers launched a raid March 30 after a yearlong undercover investigation, and Kinchen stands accused of the types of crimes normally associated with organized crime figures: illegal gambling, racketeering, money laundering and drug possession. The Humane Society of the United States, which favors an immediate ban, has hired two lobbyists to press the issue. "As a society, we no longer accept that it's OK to stage fights between animals, to engage in illegal gambling and for the thrill of the bloodletting," Humane Society President Wayne Pacelle said. It has persisted in Louisiana, Massa said, because of a number of factors. For one, the state's climate is ideal for raising roosters. "It's just like Kentucky is for raising thoroughbreds," Massa said. And when the political pressure to ban the sport began to escalate, the breeders hired one of the state's most powerful lobbyists, Randy Haynie, to make their case. Attempts to ban the sport were most often sidetracked or killed in committee. If the action got too slow, the fight was moved into the secondary pit -- or "drag pit," in cockfighting parlance -- while two new combatants fought in the main pit. Before each fight, members of the mostly male crowd made bets with one another, mainly in $10 or $20 increments, which were shouted across the arena and settled once the fight was over. But a State Police spokesman said the Kinchens are breaking the law simply by allowing their customers to gamble.

/ / / By Jan Moller April 26, 2007

The lottery: a mixed blessing and less blessed by the day

FL - Floridas touts education side of its lottery spending. However, School District officials say that the original and stated intent of the state lottery funds was that lottery proceeds would be an enhancement to already approved state education money. Instead, many say that lottery funds have merely replaced what heretofore would have been coming from the state anyway. The lottery has never been an enhancement. Its always been a replacement -- Twenty years ago we were at 10 percent more revenue into kindergarten through grade 12 than today with the lottery, Johnson said. According to a study in the Policy Studies Journal is that state-run lotteries have a serious effect on income distributions. More than taxes and other forms of gambling, lotteries promote the growth of inequality. That is, lotteries aid the rich in getting richer and the poor in becoming poorer, according to the study. Daniels (Stephen Daniels study for the North Carolina Family Policy Council)said: Far from the benign and seemingly innocent process of transferring funds from willing players to needy schools, the lottery remains an unstable source of income that negatively affects overall state education funding. There are also hidden costs associated with lottery gambling such as addicted gamblers and lost consumer and tax dollars.

/ / / by By Nicol Jenkins & John Johnston April 27, 2007

Opposition grows to US online gaming ban

DC - Democrats in the US Congress have begun a campaign to repeal America's controversial ban on internet gambling which plunged the gaming industry into crisis last year and prompted the arrest of several British executives.

/ / The Guardian / Andrew Clark April 27, 2007

New Gaming Deal Signed; State To Get More Of Casinos' Profits

NM - Gov. Bill Richardson and eight pueblo governors signed new gambling agreements on Tuesday that provide the state a larger share of Indian casino profits and tribes a sounder footing as they seek financing for big projects. The new compacts, which extend until 203... The governor, who is seeking the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, has enjoyed significant political support from New Mexico tribes. He got $14,000 from gambling tribes in February and March for his presidential bid. His gubernatorial re-election campaign took in about $205,000 from gambling tribes between 2004 and 2006.

/ / The Associated Press / By Deborah Baker April 25, 2007

Goldman buys Icahn's casinos

NV - Carl Icahn has agreed to sell four of his Las Vegas casinos to Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) for 1.3 billion dollars, booking a handy 1 billion dollar profit on the deal. I probably won't buy Goldman Sachs now that it is positioning itself to profit from the gambling addictions of the people who can least afford it.

/ / / Apr 24th 2007

Experts say gambling addiction a problem for American Indians

OK - Especially those who work in casinos. Bankers are finding hundreds of A-T-M charges at casinos.

/ / / 4-26-07

Casino figure helped feds, lawyersreveal

IL - The 35-year-old South Elgin man was one of the secret investors behind a proposed Emerald Casino in Rosemont, buying a portion of a share from a man associated with the mob, Illinois Gaming Board officials have said. For two years, he has admitted, he also was stealing money from a client of Parkway Bank, where he was a vice president. He was in hock to illegal bookmakers and was threatened with the kind of violence normally associated with mob-related gambling. Suspenzi was not stealing for his own gain, but to keep loan sharks from him and his family. The collection of those debts was life-threatening to him and his family, Breen said.

/ / / By Rob Olmstead April 26, 2007

Senior Gambling Addiction

NJ - For a growing number of senior citizens, gambling addiction is a problem that is often financially and emotionally crippling, yet it is one that few health care providers are trained to screen and diagnose. Theres no such thing as free lunch -- except, perhaps, if you are a senior citizen at a casino. Freebies such as food vouchers, alcohol compensation, and casino dollars are common incentives used by casinos to entice gamblers into their establishments. Gertrude, who worries about medical bills and the cost of living in their affluent retirement community, is strict with herself at the casino. I limit myself to $200. If I lose more than $200, I feel like I want to slit my throat, she jokes. Yet for many seniors, feeling depressed after a trip to the casino is no laughing matter. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to compulsive gambling for several reasons. The first, says Whyte (executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling), is that they are the targets of aggressive marketing campaigns by the $68.7 billion-a-year gambling industry. Harrahs uses Total Rewards information to develop customer profiles for targeted marketing. Older Americans are also susceptible to gambling problems... Loneliness and depression are risk factors for developing gambling problem, says Whyte, as well as substance abuse [and] diminished capacity, like Alzheimers. Theres especially shame and stigma for an elder to admit that theyve fallen off a cliff. If theyve cashed out or tapped in to their retirement accounts, its very hard, if not impossible to replace that money. In a real sense, casinos have become the equivalent of day care for the elderly. Recognizing problem gambling behavior is key to getting addicts the help they need. Many compulsive gamblers lie to conceal their addiction.

/ / / By Suzanne B. Pekow April 25, 2007

Sheriff seizes 19 racehorses in Internet gambling bust

AZ - The East Valley tribune is reporting today that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio seized 19 racehorses Friday as part of an ongoing take-down of an illegal Internet-based sports gambling ring busted earlier this week. The animals, which authorities believe were purchased with illegal gambling proceeds, will remain with their trainers but wont be allowed to race, Arpaio said.

/ / / April 28, 2007

There may be more than meets the eye in gambling bill

CA - There's so much money in Indian gaming in California that it's difficult to figure out just how lucrative the industry really is. But here's a hint: One Southern California tribe is spending $20 million to persuade the state Assembly to approve expanded casino operations. How much do you think the gambling tribes stand to gain if the latest gambling compacts are approved by the state? I'm just guessing here, but it has to be several billion dollars. The Morongo tribe's PR campaign has angered the Assembly's key leader on gaming issues. On Wednesday, Assemblyman Alberto Torrico, D-Fremont, said the Assembly will not be "bullied" by the Riverside County tribe. The politically arrogant Morongo tribe now says it will fight a measure to allow lawmakers to serve longer in office if they don't approve the compacts. Morongo is now playing a very dangerous political game that borders on blackmail.

/ / / By JIM BOREN April 27, 2007

Internet safety expert arms parents with information

PA - Compulsive gaming, gambling and spending. The issue with gaming often doesnt become necessarily the content though thats sometimes a concern for people it becomes the time. Ive actually talked with teens who spend 10-12 hours a day gaming. He (David Delmonico, a Duquesne University associate professor) also knows of many young people who run up large debts on Internet gambling and merchandise sites like Theres something about the Internet that feeds that desire to get that one-track focus and stay with it.

/ / Pittsburgh Catholic / by: William Cone 4-24-07

EDITORIAL: Tallahassees gambling problem

FL - Thats right, the politicians in Tallahassee have a gambling addiction and it appears few are aware of their problem. In the rush to find more revenue in the cash-strapped state budget, it will be the citizens of Florida who will pay if Gov. Charlie Crist and the Legislature cant kick their gambling revenue habit. Florida is on the verge of a massive expansion of gambling which portends more broken families, financial ruin, crime and other social costs that far outweigh any gains in new tax revenues to balance the state budget. Before voters went to the polls in 2004, Floridians Against Expanded Gambling (FAEG) filed a lawsuit in September 2004 attempting to have the initiative stricken from the ballot after it found evidence of massive fraud, including the use of signatures of dead and phantom voters while collecting the necessary petitions to put the matter on the ballot. Investigating just the petitions gathered in slots-friendly Broward County, FAEG found a whopping 68 percent of supposed petition signers interviewed stated unequivocally that they did not sign any petition in support of the Slots Initiative, the lawsuit maintained. Further, one-third of all persons who had petitions filed in their name told FAEG they did not sign such a petition, and 57 percent of the petitions contained the names of fictitious persons or forged signatures of actual voters.

/ / / By JAMES A. SMITH SR. April 23, 2007

Democrat says expect online gambling bill Thursday

DC - Barney Frank on Wednesday said he will introduce a bill this week to lift a ban on online gambling.

/ / / Apr 25, 2007

Major gambling ring busted

AZ - Undercover officers had worked their way inside illegal gambling rings operating in Phoenix, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Face charges that include the promotion of illegal gambling, money laundering, conspiracy and extortion.

/ / / April 26, 2007

Steel staple set for demolition

PA - More than a decade after its towering blast furnaces went cold, Bethlehem Steel is about to undergo a metamorphosis. The sprawling plant that armored hundreds of U.S. warships and provided the raw material for the Golden Gate Bridge, Madison Square Garden and many other famous landmarks will become a hive of activity over the next few days as workers start preparing some of its century-old buildings for demolition. In their place will rise a $600 million casino complex run by Las Vegas Sands Corp., owner of the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas.

/ / The Associated Press / By Michael Rubinkam April 27, 2007

Jena Choctaw tribe says it will build casino its way

LA - The Jena Band of Choctaws wants to build a casino on newly proclaimed reservation land in southern Grant Parish near the Rapides Parish border, tribal Chief Christine Norris said. The U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs designated (40.5 acres) as the tribe's reservation this past month, opening the door for a Class II casino to be built there. Class II casinos are permitted to have bingo and table poker games, but not other games of chance such as regular slot machines, roulette wheels and blackjack found in Class III casinos. Slot machines are permitted in Class II casinos, but they operate on principles similar to bingo, competing against other slot machines in the casino instead of operating based on the odds of a singular machine. Even if no future governor signs a compact, the tribe might still get its full-fledged casino. Law dictates that the state must negotiate casino compacts in good faith.

/ / / By Tom Bonnette

A 'great rift' widens

MN - Frozen out of casino profits, thousands of descendants of Minnesota's Dakota Indians have sued, asserting their rights to the money. A federal judge in Washington has strengthened their claims. To the small group that runs the fabulously successful Mystic Lake and Little Six casinos in Prior Lake, Sheldon Wolfchild was the wrong kind of Indian. But now Wolfchild and 22,000 other descendants of Minnesota's Dakota Indians are laying claim to the casino riches. And they have been bolstered by a federal judge's suggestions that the government may have erred in 1980 when it determined who could control the tribal land. The case could leave U.S. taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars. It also could leave Indians across the country wrestling anew with the meaning of tribal identity. "They recognized the wrong Indians," Wolfchild said. "The government was supposed to check these people out, and it didn't." A hundred years later, Congress gave a small group of Sioux, the newly constituted Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux (Dakota) Community, jurisdiction over the land near Shakopee, including parcels in Prior Lake. ... The group had been created by Norman Crooks in 1969. It has control over the land and the casinos, which earn millions of dollars in profits every year. Charter members of the new tribe were not required to prove 1886 ancestry, only that they were of "Mdewakanton Sioux Indian blood." Subsequently, all others trying to become members would have to prove they were at least one-quarter Mdewakanton and trace their ancestry to the 1886 census. Mystic Lake revenues have provided enrolled members at Shakopee, including Crooks' son Stanley, opulent lifestyles. The casino's proximity to the Twin Cities helps make it among the most profitable in the nation. Tribal members get annual casino payouts of more than $1 million. Many live in mansions on their hilly reservation of hotels and golf courses. They drive luxury cars and winter in Arizona. But to all challenges from the outside, including Wolfchild's, the Shakopee community has stood behind its inherent right of tribal sovereignty, which keeps it largely beyond the reach of courts.

/ / / By Kevin Diaz April 21, 2007

Eateries offered video poker; gambler sues

SC - The company that owns and operates Pizza Man and Rockaway Athletic Club  two prominent Columbia restaurants  allegedly allowed illegal gambling at the restaurants for five years before the company s president was charged in federal court, according to court documents. Now the company, Has been sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars by a woman who claims she lost up to $2,000 a week playing video poker on the restaurants  gaming machines. But Lauren Proctor, 44, is no victim. She took close to $800,000 from a real estate trust fund in 2005 that was under the supervision of Columbia attorney Walter H. Smith, according to sources close to the case. The FBI began its investigation after Proctor tipped them off in 2005  at about the same time she was being investigated for stealing from the trust fund, according to documents and people close to the investigation. The FBI equipped her with hidden audio and video equipment and gave her an FBI credit card to gamble with at the restaurants, according to multiple sources close to the investigation. FBI agents raided the two restaurants on Oct. 3, 2005. They seized two video poker machines at Pizza Man. At Rockaway s, FBI agents seized: " Three video poker machines " $284 from the cash register " $2,000 in a blue money bag with Pizza Man  written on it " Another blue money bag with $3,440 in it " Handwritten notes, bank statements and returned checks from customers... Proctor claims she lost more than $500,000 while gambling at Whitlark s restaurants.

/ / / By ADAM BEAM Apr. 24, 2007

Unions ask Nevada lawmakers to support lottery proposal

NV - Representatives of teachers' and culinary workers' unions asked Nevada lawmakers on Monday to support a proposed constitutional amendment to create a state lottery.

/ / Associated Press / By JOE MULLIN April 23, 2007

Deal between casino foes and feds to delay St. Regis Mohawk's plans for Monticello

NY - That's because the feds and a coalition of casino opponents have struck a deal in federal court that is guaranteed to delay a St. Regis Mohawk casino at the Monticello Gaming & Raceway for months. The coalition led by the Natural Resources Defense Council has sued the Interior Department for granting environmental approval for the $600 million casino. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne still must agree to take just less than 30 acres of land into trust for the casino. But Kempthorne, who opposes off-reservation casinos, is a big unknown.

/ / Times Herald-Record / By Victor Whitman April 24, 2007

Some city leaders look to cash in on gambling

GA - Casino gambling in Georgia could be the best way to preserve Atlanta's position as a top convention city, according to a study commissioned for a group of civic leaders. House Speaker Glenn Richardson, R-Hiram, is equally skeptical about gambling. "I am not religiously or morally opposed to gambling," Mr. Richardson said. "... I just don't think that bringing in casino gambling is all this economic boom. I think it's potentially the opposite." He worries about crime and increased need for expensive social services.

/ / Morris News Service / By Walter C. Jones April 24, 2007

What's driving gaming?

KS - The following commentary was submitted by Wichita-area Republican state Reps. Joe McLeland, Don Myers, Steve Brunk, Mario Goico, Brenda Landwehr, Ted Powers and Dick Kelsey. Is there a reason why proponents of the expanded-gaming amendment did not run it through the normal legislative committee process, where questions could be aired openly? Does it matter that Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' campaign received $28,000 in one day in August 2005 from billionaire casino owner Phil Ruffin's various companies and family members? Is it odd that legislators who have been longtime opponents of legalized gambling would flip so suddenly? Why was Sebelius' chief counsel so involved on the House floor during the long debate on the gaming bill? Is this government-backed gambling-monopoly-for-billionaires a new hip way to be on the public dole? Or just good, old-fashioned political corruption? Maybe this is why stealthy meetings, backroom deals, political posturing and a last-minute launch of a 98-page amendment were so essential. If the process had seen the light of day, legislators -- at least those who didn't have their eyes closed, ears plugged and hands over their mouths -- would have had a hard time arguing for this amendment on its merits.

/ / / OPINION Apr. 22, 2007

Board votes to revoke nearly entire pension for ex-parks worker

RI - Kathleen Parsons has admitted embezzling nearly 27-thousand dollars from the department (Providence Parks) to support a gambling addiction.

/ / / April 25, 2007

Legalized casino gambling in Atlanta?

GA - Gov. Sonny Perdue said last week that the state-run lottery is already addressing Georgians' appetite for gambling. "We believe in Georgia there is a finite level of gaming elasticity here and that we are consuming and harvesting a great deal of that through our lottery that goes directly to the HOPE Scholarship and the pre-K," he said. "I'm not in favor of doing anything that would disrupt that." House Speaker Glenn Richardson, R-Hiram, may be at odds with Perdue on budget matters, but he's equally skeptical about gambling. He worries about crime and increased need for expensive social services.

/ / The Times-Herald / By WALTER C. JONES 4/25/07

State Police Major: My Secret Life as a Bookie

RI - Steve Foley was actually Steven O'Donnell, who was then a detective in the Rhode Island State Police; working undercover to bring down members of the Patriarca crime family. Illegal bookmaking is a big piece of the income for the New England Mob. But when you read about today's gangster being arrested, the charges most commonly revolve around illegal sports betting. In 1990, O'Donnell went undercover to gain the trust and build relationships with some of the state's most notorious mobsters. "Most bookies are degenerate gamblers," he says. "Like drug dealers. Most street level drug dealers are users; they sell the product and get it for little or no fee." Alright then, did you ever get tough with someone who owed you a debt? Most of the time, for the people that owed O'Donnell (aka Steve Foley) money, there was a presence of fear that a mobster higher than him was not going to be happy. Though much has been publicized about gambling addiction, it's betting with a bookie that comes with an added level of danger. Of course, illegal gambling, extortion and bookmaking are still a big part of organized crime, and he knows all the players. Just look at some recent arrests: Mob soldier Joe Achille and his son. Mob associates Raymond "Scarface" Jenkins and Richard Angell were scooped up along with 21 others in a sting by the state police. Reputed underboss Carmen "The Big Cheese" DiNunzio of Boston was indicted on extortion and illegal gambling.

/ / / By Tim White April 27, 2007

Embezzlement victim picks odd repayment

NY - Bookkeeper to pay on life insurance... Scheitheir will make $400 monthly payments on the $250,000 life insurance policy her former boss, Timothy Krantz, took out on her life. Krantz also was made the sole beneficiary on the $125,000 life insurance policy of Scheitheirs ailing husband. Scheitheir began writing company checks ($350,000) to herself in 2003 to cover her credit card debt and losses at casinos in Niagara Falls and Niagara Falls, Ont.,

/ / / By Matt Gryta 4/28/07

House Bill Would Repeal Net Gambling Prohibition

DC - "It would be a huge mistake to repeal the law," David Robertson, Internet gambling specialist with the National Coalition Against Gambling Expansion in Washington, told the E-Commerce Times. "It has been very effective." "Internet gambling puts a virtual casino in every home where it's available, 24/7," Robertson maintained. "Secondly," he (Andrew Parmentier, a senior vice president with the Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group,) added, "the political landscape has changed since the passage of last year's ban -- Democrats control the House and Senate, and conservative social Republicans no longer hold the sway they once did."

/ / / By John P. Mello Jr. 4/27/07

Racino Bill Passes, But Not Veto-Proof

ME - The Maine House today gave its final approval to a bill that would allow the Passamaquoddy Indian Tribe to develop a racino in eastern Maine, ...

/ / / Rhonda Erskine 4/24/2007

Senate passes, Baldacci vetoes and House sends out racino bill

ME - Gov. John Baldacci, acting immediately after its enactment by the Senate, vetoed a measure Thursday that would allow the Passamaquoddy Indian Tribe to develop a racetrack casino in eastern Maine. "My opposition to the expansion of gambling in Maine is well documented and unwavering," Baldacci said in a statement. "As presented, this bill would authorize doubling the total number of slot machines statewide." "What is most troubling about this bill, however, is that it would expand gambling without the approval of Maines citizens," the governor said in his veto message.

/ / Associated Press / April 26, 2007

Two dice players killed in apparent robbery

IL - Two men gambling with dice on a porch were shot to death Friday in an apparent robbery, and a pregnant woman was injured by stray shots, police said.

/ / / 4/22/2007

Casinos' 'riverboat' label may drift away

IN - The state's riverboat casinos could more easily expand under a provision of a bill allowing slot machines at horse tracks. The measure, proposed by Sen. Robert L. Meeks, R-LaGrange, essentially abandons the guise that Indiana's casinos are boats by doing away with the requirement that they maintain an engine. The bill would allow the casinos to be built like traditional buildings that are atop permanently moored barges. The result, several lawmakers say, is that it will be easier and cheaper to build bigger, more expansive operations. "By allowing slots (at racetracks), we're allowing land-based casinos. (Rep. Jackie Walorsk)

/ / / By Karen Eschbacher April 27, 2007

How the Seminoles' GC Helped Land $965 Million Hard Rock Deal

FL - On Dec. 7 the tribe announced that it had reached an agreement to buy the Hard Rock franchise for $965 million from the London-based Rank Group Plc. Rank's shareholders approved the sale on Jan. 8, and at press time it was scheduled to close March 5. The Indians will gain control of the two Hard Rock casinos on Florida Seminole reservations, plus 124 Hard Rock Cafes in 45 countries, five hotels, two Hard Rock live performance venues, and the Hard Rock brand name. (Last year the tribe earned $500 million from its gambling operations alone, enough to pay each of the tribe members a monthly stipend of $7,000.) The group had pioneered the idea of Indian gaming by opening the country's first large-stakes bingo hall on its Hollywood reservation in 1979. Florida law permitted bingo, but imposed a $100 limit on pots. However, the tribe offered prizes worth thousands of dollars, and was counting on its sovereign status to protect it from a legal challenge. The concept of tribal sovereignty, guaranteed in the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution, is a murky legal area. First, Florida sued to stop the high-stakes bingo games, and the Seminoles won in a 1981 federal decision, citing the tribe's sovereignty. That opened the way for tribes across the country to develop their own games. Then the Seminoles sued the state, under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988, trying to force Florida to negotiate a gambling pact that would allow the tribe to add Las Vegas-style games such as blackjack and slot machines. And though the state won that battle, because of its immunity to suits in 1994, it lost the war. Without a gambling pact, Shore figured the state had no right to regulate Indian gaming under the act. So the Seminoles immediately added slot machines to their casinos. When Florida sued to remove the slots, the federal court sided with the tribe. But as the work on the casinos began in 2001, Billie (tribal Chairman James Billie)became the target of a federal grand jury investigation amid reports of alleged ties to organized crime. (Also during Billie's reign, the National Indian Gaming Commission levied millions of dollars in fines against the tribe for illegal contracts he'd made with casino management companies.) So the council suspended and later fired Billie and his close associates for financial irregularities. With Billie gone, Shore (tribe general counsel Jim Shore) brought in outside consultants to clean up the tribe's gambling operations. As Shore rested at home one evening in January 2002, someone shot him three times in the arm and chest through a patio door and left him for dead... Shore eventually recovered, (The Hollywood site recently achieved some worldwide notoriety for a very different reason; it's the same Hard Rock hotel where actress Anna Nicole Smith died in February.)

/ / Corporate Counsel / Sue Reisinger April 26, 2007

Don't gamble away your income

- Those casinos (Indian) as well as the biggies in Reno, Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nev., and Atlantic City, N.J., often target senior citizens... Several years ago a federal study found that the percentage of 65-and-older Americans who recently gambled jumped from 20 percent in 1974 to 50 percent in 1998, a surge unmatched by any other age group. I suspect if that study was repeated today, the percentage would be even higher. If you're in a wheelchair, the staff will help you find a bank of easily accessible machines and bring your drink. Coffee and soft drinks are free. It would be easy to make these casinos an entertainment habit. Yet, it is absolutely something someone our age should not do. Many of us are on fixed incomes or have a limited nest egg. That makes us vulnerable to financial devastation. The only change is that today's casinos are lined with "penny" machines that can swallow $20 in less time than it took to get from the handicapped-parking slot to the casino entrance.

/ / / By Linda Bryant Smith April 10, 2007

Antique gambling bill headed to governor

MT - A bill that would amend state gambling law and help out local antique-store owners Ron and Eila Turner passed the Montana Senate on April 19 and is headed to the governor. Sen. Verdell Jackson, R-Kalispell, sponsored Senate Bill 540 after three state gambling control agents showed up at the Cowboy Cabin on Wisconsin Avenue on Jan. 31 and confiscated $77,000 worth of antique gambling equipment.

/ / / Apr 26, 2007

Assembly votes to give legislators say in off-reservation casinos

WI - The state Assembly has voted to give legislators the final say in approving off-reservation Indian casinos. But the measure will die there because Senate Majority Leader Judy Robson will not let her house vote on it.

/ / Wheeler News Service / April 25, 2007

Judge upholds ruling against Seneca casino

NY - A federal judge delivered another legal blow late Friday to the Seneca Nation of Indians plans for a gambling casino in downtown Buffalo. Skretny refused to overturn his January decision ordering a federal commission to reconsider the tribes casino agreement with the state. Casino opponents... Insist that the U.S. Interior Department acted improperly when it allowed the Senecas to go forward with a 2002 casino agreement with the state. Land purchased by the Senecas in Buffalo cannot legally be called Indian lands and can never legally be used for gambling, the opponents maintain.

/ / / By Dan Herbeck 4/21/07

New Internet Gambling Petition Started to Repeal the UIGEA

US - A new petition has been formed and its intentions are to express the mass public desire to repeal the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, the 21st century form of prohibition. The petition will be hand delivered by a representative of Casino Gambling Web to Barney Frank in Washington, D.C.

/ / / April 24, 2007

Cockfighting's days may be numbered

LA - Crowds of spectators pack into warehouses, gather around a circular pit and watch two roosters fight it out with metal razors attached to them. Most times, that fight is to the death. While the battle rages, spectators place bets on the chickens, attempting to weigh the outcome of the match. Cockfighting is illegal in every state except Louisiana, but the days of roosters fighting for sport in a pit soon may come to an end here. In March, a ban on cockfighting in New Mexico - leaving Louisiana the only state to allow it - may have sent a message, Cravins Sr. said. U.S. Sen. David Vitter is one of many spearheading legislation to outlaw cockfighting. Recently, the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. With cockfighting being identified as a possible outlet to spread the avian flu and its link to associated violent crimes and illegal gambling, we have all the more reason to crack down on this cruel and dangerous practice," Vitter said in a written statement. Sharp, metal razor spurs are attached to the legs of the birds, and two chickens are placed into a small pit, where they fight, surrounded by dozens if not hundreds of people.

/ / / Kyle Jackson

Casino Issue Not About Gambling

AR - So what is the debate? Lets start from the top. Gov. Mike Beebe said last week that he is opposed to the proposal by the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees to open a casino in Fort Smith. He thinks there will be a drain on taxes because its tax-free, he told the Arkansas News Bureau.

/ / / April 23, 2007

The Sims Online Hosts the Mafia

US - If I told you this, would you believe me? Do we really need something like a pseudo Mafia causing the same sorts of problems? Gangsterism, in other words, on our childrens beloved video games? Right now, the online game The Sims Online-- which is labeled a T for Teens game -- has been overrun by several obviously Mafia named families. These people dont seem to have enough imagination to be Mexican Mafia, Chinese Mafia or Japanese Mafia (yet), which also exist in real life. They are very aggressive and very obvious. Whether or not they are the real Mafia is a question which I cannot answer. The game is labeled T for Teens and is connected with what looks like some harmless fake gambling. The money being exchanged seems to be Simoleans at first. Fake money, which you get by working at odd jobs on the game, and you may also acquire skills so you can make more of the fake money. But there are payoffs, and you can also buy blocks of the money on EBay, roughly $15-25 for 1 million Simoleans. Is this what you want your teenager to be doing? For 6-10 hours a day, five-seven days a week?

/ / / Karen Cole-Peralta April 23, 2007

Ind. gambling bill compromise discussed

IN - The states two horse tracks could install up to 2,000 slot machines if they each paid $250 million in license fees under the newest proposal being circulated among legislators trying to find a compromise on a gambling bill. The proposal would also permit the states casinos to abandon their boats in favor of buildings... The plan would require the casinos to pay a $25 million fee by 2009...

/ / / By Lesley Stedman Weidenbener April 27, 2007

Instant racing plan rekindles gambling debate

OH - State lawmakers are pushing a plan to allow Ohio's seven horse tracks to install machines that take bets on horse races that have already been run, an effort that comes months after voters defeated a separate proposal to expand gambling in the state. Republican-sponsored bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate. The GOP controls both chambers. In November, Ohio voters turned down a ballot measure to allow slot machines at Ohio race tracks. It was the third time since 1990 that voters defeated efforts to expand gambling. Rob Walgate, vice president of the Ohio Roundtable, a public policy group that has led opposition to previous slots proposals, said instant racing involves standing in front of a machine and betting against it individually - making it an odds-based system that's not allowed without amending the Ohio constitution.

/ / Associated Press / Apr. 24, 2007

Vegas Uncovers Betting Scandal

From: - The latest collegiate betting scandal has come to light in the last few weeks, as University of Toledo running back Scooter McDougle was indicted in US District Court on charges of participating in a bribery scheme to influence sporting contests. As was the case in the another fairly recent betting scandal, a point shaving scheme among Arizona State basketball players, the legalized, regulated Las Vegas sportsbooks were instrumental in uncovering the plot. If they (bettors) were giving a kid $10,000 to sit a game out, they probably were betting at least $100,000, he said. I bet you if we tracked the roots, it wasn't one guy. Probably 100 people were in on this knowing what the right side was going to be in those games. The previous major betting scandal in collegiate sports was also uncovered right here in Las Vegas. Legendary Mirage bookmaker Jimmy Vaccaro noticed highly unusual betting patterns involving Arizona State basketball games back in the mid 90s. He stopped taking action on or against the Sun Devils and alerted authorities, which directly resulted in the arrests and convictions of the ringleaders. Fixing games is a habitual problem in college sports. Many athletes are vulnerable to the good life trappings offered by game fixers, living at or below the poverty line on campus while the university makes millions off their efforts.

/ / / By T.Sevransky 4/20/2007

Amateur Poker Tour office raided in Colorado

CO - The venues pay the APT $300 per quarter and $50 per table per night to host the games. It's the membership fees that it charges for players that make the games illegal.

/ / / by Sarah Polson April 28, 2007

More at stake than money, descendants say

MN - Their Sioux ancestors were forced generations ago to abandon life in Minnesota. Now families want to lay claim to their heritage. The search stems from a court decision in Washington holding that descendants of Indians like John Frazier -- who appeared on an 1886 Minnesota census -- could gain the benefits of lands set aside for the "loyal Mdewakanton." Those lands now form part of the modern Mdewakanton Indian communities in Prairie Island and Shakopee, which maintain profitable casinos. The Fraziers, with some 1,200 living descendants around the nation, are one of the biggest family groups making claims as part of a lawsuit named for Sheldon Wolfchild, an ex-tribal leader at the Lower Sioux Indian community in Morton, Minn. Crooks' son, Stanley Crooks, the current tribal chairman, counts Wolfchild as a cousin. Now they find themselves on opposite sides of a divide created by the wealth (casino) that tribal membership at Shakopee provides. Elsewhere, Native American reservations have been rife with accounts of family squabbles based on who is and who isn't a direct lineal descendant of the "loyal Mdewakanton" on the 1886 census -- a key to inclusion in the Wolfchild suit.

/ / / By Kevin Diaz April 22, 2007

The link between illegal gambling crackdown and slots

IN - While many lawmakers hope to finally win slot machines for Indiana's horse racing tracks, they're suddenly pushing new legislation this session designed to crack down on illegal gambling, especially video poker machines. Is it coincidence, or political cover so legislators can say that the combination of the bills will result in no expansion of gambling? Political cover, pure and simple, says Thomas Grey, director of the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling.

/ / AP / By MIKE SMITH 4-23-07

Cory Bookers Battle for Newark

NJ - As it became Americas most heavily industrialized city, Newark attracted the attention of powerful organized-crime families from New York. Their corrupting influence in the early part of the twentieth century spread from gambling and bootlegging into Newarks unions and manufacturing industries, and eventually into the citys politics. Mob influence then passed to Ruggiero Richie the Boot Boiardo, a capo in New Yorks Genovese crime family, and Angelo Ray DeCarlo, who famously helped to fix the 1962 Newark mayoral election for Democratic congressman Hugh Addonizio. Booker also believes that instilling respect for the law is crucial in driving down crime. Newark has thus instituted sweeps of illegal gambling establishments, which for years have operated with impunity. The message has to be sent that no one is above the law, one of Bookers deputy mayors said of the crackdown.

/ / City Journal,NY / Steven Malanga 4-23-07


ME - Both of those qualities led Peters, a member of the Maine Gambling Control Board, to quit that board recently. In his resignation letter to Gov. John Baldacci, Peters said further expansion of gambling could inflict "grave harm" on the people of Maine. Gambling is the devil dressed in Prada -- or, in Maine, dressed in an awfully nice flannel shirt and well-pressed khakis.

/ / / April 21, 2007

Democrats to hear resolution on Indian Civil rights reform

CA - The California Democratic Convention this week will consider a resolution calling for reform in the provisions of the Indian Civil rights Act of 1968 to protect tribal members from civil rights violations by their own tribes. The Democratic Convention will consider the California Native American Justice and Equal Economic Opportunity Legislative Initiative, said Robert Edwards, chairman of the Indians of Enterprise No. 1. "For those of us who have been disenrolled, terminated or issued moratoriums, this is the first time we are not on the sidelines picketing," Edwards said. Many times members are disenrolled, reclassified, or denied membership so others within the tribe can get a bigger piece of the casino pie, he said. "The number of disenrolled Indians in California now exceeds 3000 in number," Edwards said.

/ / / By Mary Weston 4/25/2007

Woman pleads not guilty in theft

MT - A Billingswoman has pleaded not guilty to embezzling nearly $29,000 from a sporting goods store to support her gambling. Kracht, 24, was charged with felony theft Monday in District Court. Kracht worked at Big Bear Sports Center... Kracht later told detectives that she issued fraudulent cash refunds to steal the money and used it for gambling, court records said.

/ / / April 25, 2007

US De-Regulates Internet Gambling, Then Proposes Regulation

DC - In an interview with Barney Frank a question was posed of how his new bill addresses the problems of underage gambling. He answered by explaining that when signing up at an online casino the user must submit a range of information including the person's name, d.o.b., address, along with more details such as the person's driver license number and/or a utility bill, in order to verify the person is who the person says he/she is. However, it is important to point out that all of these pieces of data were already required at most online casinos before the US passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. This newly proposed law by Barney Frank really only exists to allow the United States to get their hand in the money pile of the Internet gambling industry.

/ / Staff Editor, / By Tom Jones April 27, 2007

Police say game-room worker chased, ran over thief

TX - A man died after the employee of a northeast Houston game room he had just robbed ran over him with his van Thursday afternoon, police said. Vice Squad will look into whether there was illegal gambling going on...

/ / / April 27, 2007

Presidents gamble Announces that Wireless (cell phone) Gambling is now Available

DC - "In general this wireless software will work on PDA phones and handhelds powered by Windows Mobile 2003 (and PocketPC 2002) or higher and PalmSource's PalmOS 4.0 or higher.

/ / / April 23, 2007

Congressman Rolls the Dice

DC - If passed, a new bill will effectively repeal anti-gambling law. The bill, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act of 2007 (IGREA), will create an exemption in a controversial law that was passed last year making online gambling effectively illegal. And it looks like it has a good shot of being passed, though perhaps in a watered-down version. The IGREA exemption allows licensed online gambling operators to ply their trade and Americans to bet legally.

/ / / By Cassimir Medford April 26, 2007

Property-tax relief: Are slots the answer?

FL - In the midst of the impasse over cutting property taxes, the state Senate may be ready to let Floridians gamble their way to property-tax relief. A proposal to permit slot machines at parimutuels all over the state sailed out of the Senate on Friday, 34-5, with promises of up to $2 billion for state coffers. So far, the notion of using gambling revenues to replace property taxes hasn't gotten much traction in the traditionally gambling-hesitant House, with Speaker Marco Rubio and his top lieutenants stiffly opposed to the notion. Proposals to loosen casino regulations at Broward's four parimutuels have moved to the House and Senate floors with few fireworks, a change of luck in a state that has seen its share of anti-gaming battles. On Friday, the Senate voted 29-9 to approve Geller's bill to add 500 machines at each of Broward's four parimutuels, allow the casinos to remain open more than 12 hours a day and permit ATMs in the facility as long as they remain off the casino floor.

/ / / BY BREANNE GILPATRICK Apr. 28, 2007

Legislators consider pull-tabs for taverns

IN - An attempt to crack down on illegal gambling could include a measure to allow bars and taverns to offer paper pull-tab games. But committee members considered allowing bars and taverns that initially sought authority to operate electronic gaming devices to instead have paper pull-tabs, a game similar to one offered by the Hoosier Lottery and something already allowed in charitable fraternal organizations or clubs.

/ / The Journal Gazette / By Niki Kelly Apr. 25, 2007

Most amazing part of scams is how often they work

IL - Just this week, the Illinois attorney general's office sounded the alarm about a new variation. You get an e-mail that says you won the state lottery. You provide some personal information and then receive a real-looking check in the mail, with instructions to cash it and forward some of the proceeds as a handling fee to an overseas account in Nigeria. First, you don't leave your name or e-mail address when you buy a lottery ticket. So how the heck would the state know how to notify you of your winnings?

/ / / By Pat Gauen 4/26/2007

Washington State Internet Gambling Bill Amended

WA - The legislation in question dramatically altars the landscape of online gambling in the Evergreen State, providing some relief to online poker players who reside within its borders. H.B. 1243amends the existing legislation that makes gambling online a Class C felony by providing a carve-out for recreational players who gamble in their primary residence. Legislation to reduce the severity of internet gambling from an offense punishable as a felony to a misdemeanor (H.B. 2127, H.B. 2320) has not yet come to fruition.

/ / / 4/24/2007

Rep. Frank's bill would roll back Net-gambling ban

DC - Current law prevents U.S. banks and credit-card companies from processing payments to online-gambling businesses outside the country. Congress passed this law in October. Shares of U.K.-based Internet-gambling companies... Fell sharply as a result. The U.K. companies get most of their revenue from U.S. poker and sports bettors.

/ / / By Robert Schroeder Apr 26, 2007

West Virginia Considers Gambling Expansion

WV - Gambling interests in West Virginia are supporting and financing a special June 9 election to allow casino-style gambling at four county racetracks. Dennis Sparks, executive director of the West Virginia Council of Churches, said what started with racetracks expanded to slot machines and now is spreading to table games, such as poker, blackjack and roulette.

/ / / 4-23-2007

Feds request dismissal of Indian trust lawsuit

NY - The federal government has asked for dismissal of a lawsuit that would require it to complete a broad study of requests by Indian tribes to put land into trust in New York. The lawsuit was filed in December by a pair of citizens groups in an attempt to halt the Oneida Indian Nation of New York's request to put 17,370 acres into federal trust. Trust land is held by the federal government for the exclusive use of an Indian tribe. The land is exempt from taxes and local and state laws. The federal government holds more than 55 million acres in trust for tribes, primarily in the West.

/ / / By Glenn Coin April 26, 2007

As Catskill Casino Takes Shape, It Is Beyond One Backers Grasp

NY - Stanley S. Tollman was for many years one of Manhattans most engaging multimillionaires, He had a coveted corner table at the 21 Club, where he regaled politicians like former Senator Alfonse M. DAmato. He gave what was widely regarded as the best New Years Eve party in Palm Beach, Fla., attracting celebrities and socialites like Robert De Niro and Phyllis George. He was a friend of Margaret Thatcher and slept in the Reagan White House. There was one dream that always seemed just beyond his grasp: to build a Las Vegas-style casino next to the Monticello Raceway in the Catskills in conjunction with the St. Regis Mohawk tribe. Now his 10-year-old dream is almost within reach, with 3,500 slot machines planned to go with 125 roulette, poker and blackjack tables. Mr. Tollman was indicted in 2002 as a kingpin in what federal prosecutors described as a $100 million bank fraud and tax evasion scheme involving the Days Inn hotel chain. Mr. Tollman failed to show up at his arraignment in Manhattan and... Went on the lam. For the past four years, he has been living in a lavish London home near Buckingham Palace, fighting extradition to New York. Mr. Tollman and his family still retain a stake of as much as $11 million in the company that is in line to build and manage the Mohawk casino in Monticello. Mr. Tollmans friend and former partner, Monty D. Hundley, did not fare well at trial, where he and three other officers of the hotel company were convicted of charges relating to the bank fraud. Mr. Tollmans son, Brett, pleaded guilty to tax fraud and has served time, his wife was charged with tax evasion, and the authorities tried unsuccessfully to extradite his nephew, Gavin Tollman, from Canada. Mr. Tollman also contributed thousands of dollars to the Republican Party and to the political campaigns of Mr. DAmato and former Gov. George E. Pataki.

/ / / By CHARLES V. BAGLI 2007/03/22

Man pleads guilty to bank heists

PA - A city man who made more than $40,000 robbing area banks at gunpoint last year pleaded guilty Wednesday to five federal counts. Authorities say Mr. Nguyen committed the robberies to feed a gambling addiction.

/ / Scranton Times-Tribune / BY ERIN L. NISSLEY /26/2007

Barney Frank Schedules 10 am ET Press Conference

- Internet gambling in the United States was effectively banned last October when President George W. Bush signed legislation outlawing financial transactions involving online gambling. The new law won support from majorities of both Republicans and Democrats last year. It made it illegal for banks and credit card companies to make payments to online gambling sites.

/ / / April 25, 2007

Senate OKs bills to expand gambling in Florida

FL - The Senate approved a series of bills Friday that would expand gambling in Florida, including a measure that would let every pari-mutuel facility in the state operate slot machine-style video lottery terminals. "This would raise $2 billion for education," said Sen. Steve Geller... "This is so slot machines in Broward County can make more money for the state of Florida," said Sen. Dennis Jones, R-Seminole... The bill also adds three jobs, each paying $125,907, to the State Attorney's Office in Broward County to prosecute gaming-related crimes, drawing ire from Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Brandon, about increasing gambling.

/ / / By Dara Kam, Kristi Swartz April 27, 2007

Kansas Senate OKs funds for university maintenance

KS - University officials have petitioned Kansas lawmakers all session for millions in new revenue to address a $727 million maintenance backlog. As the Legislature nears an end, the Senate responded Thursday with $455 million over the next five years. Lawmakers said both chambers were relying on state revenue from a newly enacted casino gambling law to keep their funding pledges.

/ / / By JIM SULLINGER and DAVID KLEPPER Apr. 27, 2007

Thieving bookkeeper gets 4 years

NJ - The center's bookkeeper, Lisa Gordon, gambled away $120,000 in membership, activity and camp fees paid by members, state Superior Court Judge Patricia Del Bueno Cleary said before imposing a four-year prison sentence. She took cash from the daily bank deposits she was required to make. She then manipulated accounts to conceal the embezzlement, according to prosecutors.

/ / Asbury Park Press / BY KAREN SUDOL 4/28/07

Senate OKs slot-like games, other gambling measures

FL - The Senate passed a series of bills Friday that would expand gambling in Florida, (SB 2434) would allow up to 1,500 video lottery terminals, which are similar to full-fledged slot machines, at each dog track, horse track and jai-alai arena. The bill (SB1038) also would add three jobs, each paying $125,907, to the Broward state attorney's office to prosecute gaming-related crimes, drawing ire from Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Brandon.

/ / / By Dara Kam And Kristi E. Swartz April 28, 2007

Opinion Senator is fighting to ban animal fighting

DC - Thanks in part to Sen. Specter, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act passed the U.S. Senate unanimously. The U.S. House of Representatives had previously cleared its version by a landslide vote of 368-39, and it is now on the president's desk. MICHAEL MARKARIAN... Vice President, Humane Society of the United States...

/ / Editor, the Record: / April 27, 2007

Click the mouse and lose your house

US - Jim Leach, a Republican from Iowa, characterised it as "you just click the mouse and lose your house", adding that people could even lose money on their BlackBerrys while waiting in line at the movies: "Religious leaders of all denominations and faiths are seeing gambling problems erode family values." After a protest from tiny Antigua & Barbuda, the World Trade Organisation ruled that prohibition (internet gambling) discriminated against foreign firms and was illegal. One man who understands the impact only too well is David Carruthers, who was chief executive of Betonsports until he was unexpectedly arrested for running a gaming racket while he changed planes in the US last summer a decision dubbed "Stalinist" by Congressman Frank. Carruthers has been under house arrest at a hotel in St Louis, Missouri, ever since. The brightest glimmer of hope for Carruthers and for the rest of the gambling industry lies with the WTO, which found the ban unlawful because it includes a number of exceptions. Attorneys in Carruthers' trial are likely to attempt to have the prosecution thrown out on the grounds that it relies on a regulation judged illegal under international law.

/ / / Andrew Clark April 27, 2007

Online Casino Is the First to Offer In-Flight Entertainment

-, has announced its partnership with in-flight entertainment (IFE) software developer DTI, to be the first ever online casino to offer casino games to airlines worldwide.

/ / / 27.04.2007

Carl Icahn selling Nevada casinos for $1.3 billion

NV - Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is selling the Stratosphere and three other southern Nevada casinos to an affiliate of the Goldman Sachs investment firm for $1.3 billion.

/ / Associated Press / By KEN RITTER April 23, 2007

Nurse Packed Slain Husband In Suitcases

NJ - A jury convicted a nurse Monday of killing her husband, hacking up his body and stuffing the parts into three suitcases she tossed into Chesapeake Bay. The defense portrayed William McGuire as a man with gambling debts who might have been killed by a creditor.

/ / / April 23, 2007

Illinois closer to snuffing out puffing in public

IL - The measure would ban smoking in all such places, including bars, restaurants, bowling alleys and casinos. The governor has not expressed opposition to the smoking ban. But he also has proposed massive new social spending that could be hampered by any significant decline in state revenue, such as that generated from casinos.

/ / / By Erik Potter 4/27/2007

Temporary Stay Granted in NY Casino Court Case

NY - The parties in a court case contesting the environmental review of the proposed St. Regis Mohawk Tribes casino in Sullivan County have agreed to a temporary stay of court activities until US Interior Department secretary Dirk Kempthorne makes a decision on the tribes application to put the land ( 29.3 aces of land adjacent to Monticello Raceway) into trust.

/ / / By John Jordan April 24, 2007

Man accused of stealing $875k from grandmother

NY - A Delaware County man is accused of stealing more than 875-thousand dollars from his grandmother to support his gambling habit... Forged his grandmother's signature on documents...

/ / / 4-25-07

Illinois warns against e-mail notification to lottery 'winners'

IL - Heres a reminder for anyone receiving an e-mail claiming that you have won the Illinois lottery: You cannot win a lottery for which you did not buy tickets. Also, the lottery never notifies winners by e-mail. The e-mails are part of a scam designed to get your personal information and defraud you, officials warned today.

/ / ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH / 4/23/2007

Dissonance Tribal Warfare Indian gaming lines up powerful allies

CA - A million six is how much a conglomerate of wealthy Indian gambling tribes spent on recent campaign contributions to key members of the state Democratic leadership, and it garnered an almost instant return. With little media notice, and certainly with no real public debate, the state Senate fast-tracked a package of five new gambling deals with Californias richest tribes and overwhelmingly voted 22-10 to approve them last week. These deals, if ratified by the Assembly, would constitute one of the largest expansions of legalized gambling in the history of America, opening the floodgates to tens of thousands of new slot machines (added to our current state fleet of 60,000), and would pave the way for a number of new Nevada-class casinos. All these goodies would be showered on the handful of California tribes already marinating in millions of annual gambling dollars, Once a fierce critic of unbridled gambling expansion, Arnold (Governor) has decided its better to be inside the tepee looking out instead of outside pissing in. He quietly dropped more-stringent labor, environmental and regulatory demands written into earlier draft compacts and now has signed off on deals that relieve the tribes of substantial accountability. the wealthy Morongo tribe, Has launched a $1.25-million-a-week campaign of TV advertising spots aimed at winning the hearts and minds of California voters. The Morongos and the four other California tribes wanting the expansion deals have spent tens of millions in campaign dollars to defend their monopoly gambling privileges.

/ / / By MARC COOPER April 25, 2007

Rep. Frank's bill would roll back Net-gambling ban

DC - Current law prevents U.S. banks and credit-card companies from processing payments to online-gambling businesses outside the country. Congress passed this law in October. Shares of U.K.-based Internet-gambling companies... Fell sharply as a result. The U.K. companies get most of their revenue from U.S. poker and sports bettors.

/ / / By Robert Schroeder Apr 26, 2007

Governor, gambling puts dreams in jeopardy

IN - Gov. Mitch Daniels can't have it both ways. He can't crack down on illegal gambling and then sign on for two land-based casinos in Central Indiana. The state's moral authority was eroded when it adopted a lottery and gambling on horse racing almost 20 years ago. Why is it so wrong for a club or bar to have some slot machines in the back room, when the state promotes gambling more actively than it promotes physical fitness or literacy? Daniels will lose more moral ground if he signs a bill to expand gambling. But riverboat casinos were adopted 14 years ago and taxed heavily to provide another subsidy for horse racing. Even so, the two tracks continue to lose money. Gambling, likewise, turns the victims of addiction into white-collar criminals, driving up the cost of law enforcement, turns fathers and mothers away from their children and contributes to a whole new set of expensive social problems in the next generation.

/ / / Russ Pulliam April 28, 2007

Eklutna gambling

ALASKA - This week, the Native village of Eklutna applied for a gaming ordinance from the National Indian Gaming Commission. The village is trying to get a class two gaming permit. A class two permit allows bingo, pull tabs or an electronic version of either. "It may look like a slot machine because it's got reel and that sort of thing, but the actual play of the game is bingo...

/ / / by Angela Unruh April 5, 2007

Problem gamblers are folding voluntarily

FL - To the small percentage of problem gamblers -- national estimates conservatively place the figure at 2 percent to 3 percent of the adult population -- casinos within easy reach can spell financial peril. For Roberge, slot machines are his poison. ''You become like hypnotized. You focus on the slot machine. It makes you forget everything, even if you are in pain because of love or whatever,'' he said. And if you hit a jackpot? ''Oooh, you are out of this world. You kiss the slot machine, you don't want anyone to look at the slot machine,'' he said. A woman who had been betting tens of thousands on the slots, showed up with her husband and asked to sign the contract. She had been betting money from the family's savings account, Mann said. But casinos admit they cannot watch every single person who comes through the door. Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling in Washington, D.C., says some gamblers believe the casinos don't really try. 'In some states, problem gamblers tell us, `I put on a pair of sunglasses and walked in. Nobody stopped me when I was losing -- they only stopped me when I won,' '' Whyte said. ``Some problem gamblers feel [self-exclusion] is merely a cynical public relations ploy by the casino.'' In Florida, though, where there is no state-financed or -subsidized treatment, problem gamblers may be identifying themselves for the first time when they self-exclude, Whyte noted.

/ / MiamiHerald / BY AMY DRISCOLL Apr. 23, 2007

Indiana Lottery privatization on hold

IN - Gov. Mitch Daniels said Friday he is putting off but not giving up on his hopes of privatizing the Hoosier Lottery and wants a yearlong, statewide "conversation" on how best to spend the $2 billion or more the lease could bring. House Speaker B. Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, has been adamantly opposed. Senate President Pro Tempore David C. Long, R-Fort Wayne, said he has urged the state's mayors -- who have been clamoring for legislative help to reduce property taxes and to fund pensions -- to get behind the lottery lease. Besides, he said, if a private company is willing to put up $2 billion for the lottery in hopes of making big profits down the road, the state should be able to make those profits as well by keeping control of the lottery.

/ / / April23,2007

Dozens arrested, millions seized in gambling raid

AZ - Authorities have arrested 31 people and seized millions of dollars in cash, cars and property as part of four illegal gambling rings. Bookies, collectors and loan sharks operated out of Phoenix-area bars and restaurants. This is to make money, to make money illegally. Interest rates as high as 51 percent. Those taken into custody Tuesday face charges that include the promotion of gambling, money laundering, conspiracy and extortion.

/ / Associated Press / 4.25.2007

Gambling in Chicago

IL - To the Editor: Last week the Task Force to Oppose Gambling in Chicago and the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform disclosed that Illinois legislators, legislative campaign committees and candidates for state constitutional offices had received almost $1.7 million in campaign contributions. The horse racing interests provided $1,020,452.49 to the casino interests $665,188.

/ / / by Doug Dobmeyer April 16, 2007


DC - The bill does not challenge the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act 2007 directly. Instead it seeks to establish a regulatory and enforcement framework for licensed gambling operators to accept bets and wagers from individuals in the US. The Frank proposal is considerably more complex and introduces the possibility of licensing and regulation....and taxation. The taxation provision is no surprise (see previous reports) Industry observers expected to see tax used as a sweetener to bring politicians on board, America accounts for around 48 percent of the total world gambling market of approximately $260 billion annually. Online gambling is likely to be very much front-and-centre in Congress in the coming months - Nevada Representatives Shelley Berkley and Jon Porter have indicated that they intend calling for a year-long non-partisan study of Internet gambling that could delay the enactment of the forthcoming UIGEA regulations, and the Democrat Representative from Florida, Robert Wexler, is understood to be about to launch a bill seeking a carve-out for online poker on grounds that it is a game of skill.

/ / / April 26, 2007

Don't be Fooled by Barney Frank Internet Gambling Bill

DC - Ironically, Kyl's attachment of his anti-online gambling legislation to an unrelated and pivotal port security bill rubbed most Democrats - and we dare say a few Republicans - the wrong way regardless of their stance on Internet gambling. Throw in the fact that this is a billion dollar industry without ever being a part of the US landscape, where there is money to be made, this than becomes a bipartisan issue. Frank's proposal as it stands today is likely to invite more powerful lobbying efforts from big business. Republican Representative Jim Kasper of North Dakota has already told he will be proposing new legislation to make online poker legal in his state for 2008, "According to the Internet gambling bill, Indian casinos has the option to opt-in or opt-out for Internet gambling. Getting the Indian casino lobbyists on Barney Frank's side is an important and crucial first step.

/ / / 4.27.07

Lumbee get a win, but not without stipulation

DC - The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina came one step closer to federal recognition yesterday, with a 24-7 vote by a key U.S. House committee to give full recognition to the tribe - provided the tribe stays out of the casino business. Rep. John Duncan, R-Tenn., introduced the amendment barring casinos and gambling. He said that although he is not opposed to gambling in principle, he is concerned about gambling addiction and believes that there are already too many casinos. I think its wrong to seek out Indian gambling. If you want to eliminate gambling, then eliminate it all, said Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, the ranking Republican on the committee. Arlinda Locklear, the attorney representing the Lumbee, Said that the recent scandal involving lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his work with Indian tribes and casinos has made many in Congress skeptical of Indian issues. Abramoff, a former lobbyist, whose clients included Indian tribes, is currently serving more than five years in prison for fraud in relation to his purchase of a casino in Florida.

/ / / By Mary M. Shaffrey April 26, 2007

Enforcement debate holds up gambling bill

IN - Republican and Democratic lawmakers were at an impasse Tuesday on legislation designed to crack down on illegal gambling in Indiana. The law would primarily go after video poker machines.

/ / The Associated Press / By Mike Smith Apr. 25, 2007

FORUM Mainers will get to vote again on slots, which is a good thing

ME - Peters, a former member of the state's Gambling Control Board, resigned from that position on April 3. The reason, he told Gov. Baldacci in his letter of resignation, was that the state is not receiving the benefits it was promised from the Hollywood Slots casino in Bangor. Even more significant, he said, Maine is not doing enough to control the "grave harm" that gambling brings now and will bring in the future to the people of Maine. "If we do not act to reduce the shameful profits being made by gambling operators and the coalition of beneficiaries that support them, our state will soon be overrun with the few getting rich at the expense of the many." And yes, there are gamblers who only bet what they can afford to lose... On most days, however, most of them do not -- and that utterly certain outcome is how casino operators can flourish at the expense of honest business. But no booster blinded by dollar signs ever says, Suicides! Theft! Addiction! Bankruptcy!

/ / / By M.D. Harmon April 27, 2007

Rep. Frank plans bill to undo Internet-gambling ban

DC - WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D) plans to introduce as soon as Thursday a bill to undo restrictions on Internet gambling.

/ / MarketWatch / By Robert Schroeder

Horsemen ask for slots or bigger cut of revenue

IL - The horse racing industry is facing difficult times. Since they were created nearly three decades ago, riverboats have claimed a large share of gambling dollars from horse racing. Nearly every state that hosts horse racing also offers slot machines at its racetracks. In 1983, racetracks and horsemen shared equally in revenues. Between then and 2005, laws were changed to give tracks more of the racing handle -- $820 million more than horsemen. This inequity never has been fixed and because of it, horse racing in Illinois is on life support.

/ / / By George Bonomo April 23, 2007


AZ - Reports coming in from Phoenix, Arizona indicate that the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office served 44 search warrants on Tuesday in the culmination of a two-year-long undercover operation targeting an international gambling ring based in Phoenix but using Internet betting sites. While most bets were made online through Costa Rica-based betting sites, the payouts and collections occurred in local Phoenix bars and restaurants throughout the Valley. "If someone couldn't pay their debts, interest rates as high as 51 percent were levied."^Arpaio said that large amounts of cocaine were also flowing through the gambling syndicates. "Some people were even forced to give up their homes and their retirements to pay off the organizations' loan sharks,"

/ / / April 25, 2007

Internet Gambling raid had Mafia ties to Gambino and Columbo families

AZ -, a news source out of Phoenix, Arizona is reporting the following regarding yesterday's online gambling raid: "Investigators call it one of the largest busts of its kind in the nation. Dubbed "Operation High Stakes", Maricopa County Sheriff's detectives arrested dozens of people on Tuesday morning, wrapping up a two year undercover investigation that led them deep into organized crime. Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the illegal international gambling ring, centered in the Phoenix area, had ties to the Gambino and Columbo crime families. Face several charges including racketeering, illegal betting and waging, conspiracy and loan sharking." Meanwhile, we believe this story is blown way out of proportion. For starters, if this indeed "one of the largest gambling busts" ever, as is claimed, then why aren't other news sources reporting on it?

/ / / April 25, 2007

House bill would allow Internet gambling

DC - Frank acknowledged that the Democratic leadership of the House likely would not support his legislation. The Bush administration also could be expected to oppose it. The vote for the ban in the House, for example, was 317-93 last year. Lobbying for it were the horse racing industry and professional sports leagues, which argued that Web wagering could hurt the integrity of their sports. "It should come as no surprise that I fundamentally oppose any attempts to repeal or weaken" the 2006 law, the Financial Services Committee's senior Republican, Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama, said in a statement Thursday. "The overwhelming vote in favor of this legislation reflected widespread public concern over the ill effects of illegal Internet gambling on our youth.

/ / / By Marcy Gordon, AP April 27, 2007

West Virginia Considers Gambling Expansion

WV - Gambling interests in West Virginia are supporting and financing a special June 9 election to allow casino-style gambling at four county racetracks. Dennis Sparks, executive director of the West Virginia Council of Churches, said what started with racetracks expanded to slot machines and now is spreading to table games, such as poker, blackjack and roulette.

/ / / 4-23-2007

Kansas casino on ballot

KS - Six weeks from today, Cherokee County voters will go the polls to decide if a state-owned casino and hotel complex will be allowed in the county. The Cherokee County Commission on Monday approved a resolution placing the referendum on the June 5 ballot. Penn National Gaming, teamed with Kansans for Economic Growth, plans to submit a proposal to operate the casino and hotel about a half-mile from the Interstate 44 Baxter Springs exit.

/ / / By Roger McKinney April 24, 2007